Financial advisors usually come up short in trust polls, trailing professionals like doctors and accountants. That’s why a recent survey from John Hancock caught my attention. It found that 84 percent of mass affluent investors said they trusted financial advisors more than their primary doctor (79 percent), accountants (74 percent), contractors/handymen (52 percent), bosses (49 percent) and real estate agents (43 percent).
Clearly, advisors are doing something right (congrats!). According to the survey, the top trust-building behaviors were giving clear explanations of investment recommendations and being knowledgeable and timely about products and trends. Also effective was disclosing one’s compensation and quickly answering client questions.
Why did advisors edge out physicians? Perhaps consumers are finally noticing that medical conduct isn’t what it used to be. Dr. Drew is a prominent example. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the popular radio and TV personality received $275,000 from GlaxoSmithKline for touting its Wellbutrin antidepressant on the air. Glaxo’s payment raises big questions about his professional ethics.
Fight for them
Conflict of interest is not the only issue. How about the failure of some doctors to advocate for patients who need specific treatments or medicines? Sure, the docs are drowning in insurance paperwork and tired of battling insurance companies. But still, they owe it to patients to fight for the care they deserve.
Or what about patient scheduling? Do you think it’s ethical for doctors to shoehorn even more patients into each hour? How can they expect to diagnose medical problems without actually spending time with patients?